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Letterman Digital Arts Center - Case Study

The BIM Process

As I have stated at the beginning of this BIM process, in order to insure an effective collaboration, all team members had to be part of this process and that includes the MEP fabricators.  When I visited the selected HVAC fabricator with a mission to get them on board the BIM process, I was amazed with the 3D technology already in place by some fabricators.  The HVAC sub contractor and fabricator played a major role in this process.  They were not only using 3D parametric technology to demonstrate the complexity of the HVAC systems, this technology was also implemented to drive their plasma cutting and pipe bending machines directly from the 3D BIM.

Funds were allocated to the general contractor for the purchase of BIM software applications, training and creating the 3D MEP product data for those sub contractors that were not trained in 3D technology.  This was a significant commitment by the owner and a requirement for achieving successful results.  Unfortunately, only the selected HVAC fabricators and in part the electrical contractor took the opportunity of learning and implementing the 3D technology.  The plumbing, fire protection and site utilities were the responsibility of View By View.  The routing process and coordination of MEP is a complex task.

LDAC_P8_Chilers and Drawing1

Figure 13.   Building information model of the chillers. The 3D shop drawing was used for fabrication. ISO fabrication drawings were automatically produced with all the parts listed.  Model created by Therma Inc, San Jose, CA.

LDAC_P8_Plasma Cutting

Figure 14. The image above demonstrates the cut parts than assembled to form the complex transition from a round input on one side to a square output on the other side. The 3D model of this unit was used to unfold and cut the pieces needed.

The two photos on the right illustrate the automated BIM Duct fabrication process, driving the plasma cutters  Once two parts are bent than a human takes over by assembling the two parts into a single unit redy for installation.

This entire process is comptuer driven directely from the BIM MEP model.

MEP_P8 Fab 02 MEP_P8 Fab 01

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